NORWEGIAN WOOD (the movie)
18 Dec 2010
It’s been two days already.
I had seen the trailer again. And… Yes, I think I should see the movie again. And again. Like I read his books. Again, and again. And every time, the book is new! New, alive, unexpected! There’s no first time when it comes to Murakami. Or last time. For the moment, I am reading (again) KAFKA ON THE SHORE, the English version. Two years ago, I read it in Romanian. And I could remember the tomcat, and the bookshop… But anything else is brand new, wonderful, and…
Midori is pacing. Quietly. She looks relaxed. Though… She should be pacing nervously. But no, she’s not nervous. Disappointingly, I would say. The character in the book is much more alive than the one of Tran Anh Hung’s. The director emphasizes a lot on the singing dialog of his characters. He also admits he had to betray the book. Maybe that’s why Murakami is so reluctant of his books being turned into movies: you cannot betray such masterpieces!
Naoko is also pacing. It’s a very nervous pacing. Annoyingly nervous! But the most annoying one is Watanabe. He’s just following her like a puppy. He does nothing!
‘You can’t get the movie if you didn’t read the book’, I said to Kata when the movie was over. We were heading to the exit. I caught the eye of a young, blond guy. He was looking at me over the shoulder of the women he saw the movie with. He didn’t seem to approve me. He looked a little puzzled himself. As if he could utter in an instant, ‘what’s the movie got to do with the book?’ Quite so!
Watanabe and Midori and Naoko on the screen were Tran Anh Hung’s. And they did not convince too much. Ultimately, they could not have managed to be convincing. And that’s not a bad thing. Or meaningless. Watanabe on the screen resembled a little Watanabe in the book when walking out of the campus, surrounded by students with bats. Or on the cliffs, by the sea, screaming voicelessly his despair. You see him there, you cry with him, but all you can hear are screeching violins. Noisy, screeching violins which scratch your ear drums. And your souls.
I would have liked to see Watanabe eating cucumbers with Midori’s dying father. Or wandering through the dusty shelves of the bookshop. Or watching with Midori the fire burning in a nearby building.
I too think that Murakami’s novels should not be turned into movies.
Nevertheless, I’m so much looking forward to seeing A WHILD SHEEP CHASE and DANCE DANCE DANCE.